Gibbs Free Energy (GFE)

Definition - What does Gibbs Free Energy (GFE) mean?

Gibbs free energy (GFE), in the field of thermodynamics, is a thermodynamic potential that gauges the usability or the work that can be obtained from thermodynamic systems at a steady pressure and temperature.

It is also the chemical potential which is reduced when the system attains equilibrium. It is a derivative respective of the coordinate system reaction at a point of equilibrium. It serves as a measure of impulsiveness with constant variables such as temperature and pressure.

Gibbs free energy is also known as free enthalpy.

Corrosionpedia explains Gibbs Free Energy (GFE)

Gibbs free energy plays a vital role in corrosion, as it is one of the major factors in the spontaneity of reduction-oxidation reactions in electrochemistry. During the action of electrochemical cells, the chemical energy is converted to a form of electrical energy, which is the product of the electric charge and the electromagnetic field (EMF) of the cell that flows through an external circuit.

The cells’s EMF is utilized to compute the highest electrical energy possibly obtainable from a certain chemical reaction—the energy is called electrical work. Hence, a positive cell potential has the capacity to produce a negative charge through Gibbs free energy. This is steady in terms of cell production in electrical currents from the anode and cathode via external circuits. When the current moves in the reverse direction through the strike of an external potential, work is performed in order to force electrolysis.

Impulsive electrochemical reactions produced through changes in Gibbs free energy are beneficial in generating electric current within electrochemical cells. This is the foundation of fuel cells as well as batteries. For instance, oxygen and hydrogen can be joined within a fuel cell to produce energy and water, normally combined to form electrical energy and heat.

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